Kansas City Employers Let Down By Failed Drug Tests

While the Kansas City area’s unemployment rate has shrunk to 3.6 percent, there are employers out there that are still begging for employees. Why? Some of the reasons include low pay, uninviting work, or lack of qualifications for the positions. Another big factor is drug testing.

Positive Drug Tests

Positive drug results in 2016 reached their highest level in 12 years. The failed drug tests were caused partially by illicit drug use along with prescription drugs such as amphetamines. Nationally, there was a 4.2 percent positivity rate throughout the workforce. It may sound small, but it represents 420,000 workers out of a database of 10 million workforce drug test results.

Kansas and Missouri’s failed testing rates were above the national; in 2016 Kansas was at 5.1 percent positivity and Missouri, 4.9 percent.

Choosing Drugs Over Jobs

Some business managers have said it’s not uncommon for at least one-fifth of job applicants to get up and leave when told they need to pass a pre-employment drug test. Others don’t show up for their drug test appointment after saying they would.

Testing for Safety Reasons

 

Contrary to popular belief that drug testing is so your employer and the government know what you’re up to at home, human resource officials say drug testing is done for safety reasons. It’s meant to reduce the dangers and liability caused by impaired workers. It’s also to protect the drug users, to other workers, or the company’s products. Most of the positions represented in the under-employed areas of Kansas City would be jobs that require operating machinery or driving.

While drug testing isn’t required in industries other than the department of transportation, over half of employers do pre-employment testing. There has been a bit of a push to relax testing in some job sectors that have no risk to the worker or public safety.

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